At 9am on Monday, Irish singer Dolores O’Riordan was found dead at the London Hilton on Park Lane after visiting the city for a recording session.
A statement released by her publicist said: “Irish and international singer Dolores O’Riordan has died suddenly in London today.
“Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
The singer, from Limerick, enjoyed success with the multi-platinum band in the 1990s with hit singles including Linger and Zombie, and went on to sell 40 million albums.
But behind the bright lights of international stardom and underneath the pedestal that came with being a rock star, the life of Dolores O’Riordan was complex and fiercely private.
O’Riordan, the youngest of seven children, was born to a farm labourer and caterer in Ireland, and began writing songs when she was 12 years old. Three years before she came into the world, her father, Terence, had a motorbike accident that left him brain-damaged and unable to work.
In a 2001 interview with The Telegraph, O’Riordan said she had “the most cosy loving childhood, all huddled up together.”
It was only 12 years later, when a then 43-year-old O’Riordan told LIFE magazine her early life was marred by horrific sexual abuse by someone, she said, she trusted.
“I was only a kid,” the musician — who leaves behind three children, Taylor, 20, Mollie, 16, and Dakota, 12 — told the outlet. “It gets hard as well when you have daughters because you get flashbacks when you’re with them and when you are watching them. You wonder, ‘How can anyone get satisfaction in any way, you know?’”
She went on to detail exactly how much it hindered her self-esteem, inflating her sense of self-loathing.
"That's what happens. You think it is your own fault. I buried it. It is what you do initially. You bury it because you are ashamed of it. You think: 'Oh my God. How horrible and disgusting I am.' You have this terrible self-loathing. And then I got famous when I was 18 and my career took over. It was even harder then. So then I developed the anorexia."